tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC July 9, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
tonight on "world news," stop the presses. the damage control. the newspaper that bribed police, hacked into voicemails, secretly recorded the royals. tonight, we're there as the last edition is printed and as rupert murdoch rushes to london, trying to protect his media empire. winning the war? tonighgh the stunning statement by the new defense secretary. what he's now saying about al qaeda. courage and candor. remembering the first lady who bravely spoke ababt that moment her husband and family confronted her about addiction. on the red carpet. prince william and kate in california tonight. this evening, british royalty, meeting hollywood's royalty. tom nks to barbra streisand. who is on the list tonight? and payday. on a day of baseball history. >> that is struck deep to left field. >> the fans actually getting
paid to watch this historic home run. good evening on this saturday night. as we come on the air this evening, the printing press is coming to a halt. the last of the papers coming off the press at "the news of the world," that now infamous british tabloid. rocked by revelations its reporters bribed police and eavesdropped on everyone, from the royals to everyday victims of crime. here is theeinal front page tonight. thank you, and good-bye, it says. the paper is shutting down after scandalous behavior within. now, this evening, its owner, the media baron, rupert murdoch, is rushing from the u.s. to london, to protect his media empire. and jeffrey kofman is in london tonight. jeffrey? >> reporter: good evening, david. behind me, the editors and the reporters who put together "the news of the world." the final edition of the paper.
it's going to bed after 168 years. the end came so quickly. it's the end of the run and the end of the world. "the news of the world." no one here saw it coming. the 270 staff that will be losing their jobs tomorrow, shell-shocked. >> i'm so proud of my colleagues who have continued this week in absolutely trying and personally and professionally difficult circumstances in such a professional manner. >> reporter: they may be professionals. but this week, we learned thatat some of the reporters and editors who occupied this office just a few years ago, were habitual criminals. illegally hacking thousands of cell phones, in search of juicy tidbits for sensational stories. and bribing police for scoops. tonight, the owner of "the news of the world, rupert murdoch is flying to london, to try to contain the damage. >> we've already apologized. >> yeah? >> we felt that you had been let down by people that we trusted. the result was, the paper let down its readers.
>> reporter: the multiple billion dollar takeover of its biggest satellite channel is now in jeopardy. news corporation has vast media holdings around the world, including fox news and "the wall street journal" in the u.s. >> if the scandal takes on a life of its own outside of britain, then people may watch fox stations less. they may read news corporation's newspapers less. that could have lasting repercussions. >> reporter: another former editor of "the news of the world," is rebecca brooks, now murdoch's editor in britain. she still has her job, despite calls for a dismissal. she said the paper had to be killed quickly. >> eventually, it will come out, why things went wrong and who was responsible. and that will be -- that will be another very, very difficult moment in this company's history. >eporter: with a comment like that, it is clear the scandal will not be dying with the paper. it's fair to say there's a lot of reporters, managers, politicians and police, wondering if and when they will be facing criminal charges. david? >> jeffrey kofman in london.
jeffrey, thank you. while the closing of that british newspaper is the headline dominating the news in london, it's a part of britain making headlines here. the future king and queen are in this country. british royalty meeting hollywood royalty tonight. prince william and kate are in southern california. and bob woodruff is with them in santa barbara this evening. bob, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, david. yeah. the game has just begun. this is a beautiful spot right here. now, it's four against four. prince william is out there, with his jersey, number 4. a dangerous sport. they can hit this ball at about 100 miles per hour. but the ball a size of an orange. absolutely worth it because he's raising a lot of money for his charities. day two of will and kate's's excellent amereran adventure began in an aerial convoy up the california coast. touching dowowat the posh santa barbara polo club, where the well-heeled and the well-known came to mingle with the world's most famous newlyweds. >> he's lived his life with such dignity. and just seems like a really
good guy. >> reporter: security at the polo grounds today was extremely tight. even the v v.p.s were screened. their luxury cars carefully inspected. will and kate came here to raise money for the many charities that the duke and his brother, harry, support. >> we're focused on helping military veterans and their families, working on sustainable developments. we also want to give the most disadvantaged young in society hope and confidence in their lives. >> reporter: in a sea of splendidly-dressed guests, the duchess stood out again. the future king of england also showed how comfortable he is on top a pony on the polo field. it's a skill he shares with his brother and their father, prince charles. it's a fast game. a bit risky for royalty. prince harry took a scary head-first tumble at a match in new york. but escaped injury. the royals' american visit has thus far been very different than the coast-to-coast tour in
canada, where adoring crowds got up close and personal, with the world's "it" couple. >n terms of access, the thing i've noticed is you don't get any. and if you do, people will pay for it. here at the polo club, people pay thousands of dollars for tickets. and they're literally getting a glimpse of william and kate. >> reporter: you know, this is a very wealthy spot out here. and the players, in order to play on this team with prince william, they actually had to pay $100,000 each. they have now raised $4 million. that's three-times as much as they ever raised before on these polo fields before. david, remarkable place. >> bob woodruff, taking in some polo and the prince tonight. bob, thanks so much. also from southern california this evening, they are remembering a former first lady, betty ford. the betty ford center is there. and mrs. ford died yesterday at the age of 93. she leaves behind a powerful legacy. this evening, in her own words, how she described her addiction while in the white house and the moment her family confronted her.
it was the kind of courage and candor never before seen from a first lady, who admitted to an entire country that she was struggling with addiction to alcohol and painkillers. and she would famously open the betty ford center, to help others like her. >> she has, as all of you know, responded strongly by admitting the challenge to recover her own health. we're very proud of you. >> reporter: there were the known names that sought help. elizabeth taylor. stevie knicks. this young woman, just 25 at the time, addicted to alcohol and marijuana. >> thank you for being an inspiration. >> appreciate that. you know, somebody was an inspiration to me. so, we just pass it along. >> reporter: but betty ford had blazed a path years before, weighing in on
abortion and the equal rights amendment. then, the admission of excruciating pain from a pinched nerve. that she has become addicted to painkillers and valium. abc's claire shipman asked mrs. ford if she knew it herself. >> did you feel while you were in the white house, you were addicted to those prescription painkillers? >> i never felt that i was addicted to them. no. that was not something that went through my head. >> did it change the way you sounded? or the way you talked? >> yeah. it slowed up the way i talked. it slowed up the way i thought. >> reporter: she spoke of the day her husband and family confronted her. >> i was very resentful. yes. i was very angry. but we all came together. and my husband, in a very loving way, put his arm around me. an he said, you know, mom. we love you too much to let this happen. and that was what struck home with me. >> reporter: president ford would later celebrate his wife's bravery. >> i'm very honored and proud to be number two in the ford family. >> i have been told that you
call her the boss? >> i'm betty ford's husband. >> reporter: and it was her compassion that would help others recover in their own way. >> everybody has their own personal way of handling these things. we don't all have to do it the same way. >> and we learned today that betty ford will be buried alongside her husband, at the gerald ford presidential museum in grand rapids, michigan. we turn overseas, now, and to afghanistan. where there were bold words were delivered by president obama's new defense secretary, leon panetta. on his first trip to afghan stay, about al qaeda, he said, i think we have them on the run. and that victory is, quote, within reach. abc's david kerley is in washington. >> reporter: having succeeded after nine, long years in the hunt for osama bin laden, the new defense secretary boldly says the u.s. is on the verge of defeating al qaeda. >> i think we have them on the run. >> reporter: but speaking to reporters on his way to afghanistan, panetta said timing is critical.
>> i think now is the moment to put maximum pressure on them because i do believe that if we continue this effort, that we can really cripple al qaeda, as a threat to this country. >> reporter: here's why. with the killing of bin laden, u.s. forces recovered a treasure trove of intelligence. panetta revealed today they have been able to identify 10 to 20 al qaeda leaders who are based in 4 countries. >> if we can go after them, i think we really can strategically defeat al qaeda. >> reporter: the defense secretary says he believes the new leader of al qaeda, ayman al zawahiri, is living in the tribal areas of pakistan. and the al qaeda branch he's most worried about is in yemen, run by the cleric, anwar al awlaki. the secretary has met with afghanistan's president, discussing plans to drawdown and hand control to local forces by 2014.
general david petraeus, who will be moving into panetta's former job as head of the cia, agreed with the assessment that al qaeda is on the run. and reinforced the call to keep pressure on all al qaeda leaders. >> you have to whack all the moles simultaneoeoly. this is a network. you must pressure the terrorist network wherever it is. >> reporter: on the war in afghanistan, general petraeus made a bit of news today. he said for the first time in five years, last year, the number of insurgent attacks in afghanistan actually went down. david? >> david, thank you. at the white house tonight, they are preparing for tomorrow's high-stakes meeting. president obama and leaders from both parties, their own sunday roundtable, dealing with this looming debt crisis. economists warn in just weeks, the federal government will default on its loans, saying the consequences could be devastating, unless congress agrees to raise the amount of money this country can borrow. we turn to christiane amanpour, host of "this week." the two have talked about the trillions of cuts on the table.
both sides agreeing to it. but it's not enough. so, how does the president try to break the stalemate now? >> that's why he's having this mini summit on a sunday at the white house. what's happening, of course, the republicans want a lot of spending cuts. obama administration agreed to cuts. but it wants revenue raised. so far the republicans are resisting. so, this is where the stalemate is. and it's being exacerbated, now, by the dismal job figures that came out on friday, that already caused the stock market to take a hit. and that is raising the stakes in this crisis over raising the debt ceiling and coming to an overall debt reduction deal. >> all right. christiane, thanks to you, on the game of political chicken playing out tomorrow. with that big white house meeting coming, christiane will go inside the negotiations with white house chief of staff, bill daley. he'll speak exclusively to christiane tomorrow morning, right here on abc's "this week." now, to the birth of a nation in africa tonight. south sudan is now its own country. tens of thousands celebrated independence, dancing in the streets. marking the end of a long and
bloody struggle. the tribes of south sudan and the mainly arab north have been fighting on and off for 50 years now. there was another bold headline from africa this weekend. a plea from the u.n. over the worsening drought. refugee camps are being overwhelmed by people fleeing devastating drought and food shortages. up to 10 million people in five countries are affected. relief agencies are appealing for help around the world in feeding them. and there is still much more ahead as we continue on "world news" this saturday night. a different kind of housework. the researchers going inside american homes with children with autism. what they are looking for and what it could mean. game over for a gentle giant. why yao ming is now saying good-bye. and later in the broadcast, the historic moment so many of you were tweeting about today. a home run that's going to make history. and why some fans were being paid to catch watch it.
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in the homes of children with autism. the wirth family is desperate for answers. oldest son, josh, was diagnosed right after his first birthday. >> it's devastating. i felt like somebody had died. everybody would tell us, oh, he's a future football player. he's going to get a scholarship to college. and then, you're tolhe has autism, and his future becomes so uncertain. >> reporter: so, the wirths enrolled in a study now tracking 1,200 families. when lisa got pregnant again, researchers recorded everything she ate. medications she took. even the products she used to clean her home. >> what we believe is that autism is caused by a combination of genetic factors and maybe several genetic factors, with environmental factors that are coming together at critical periods of development. >> reporter: for decades, scientists believed most cases of autism, 90%, were caused by genetics. but the new study suggests environmental factors play a much larger role.
researchers show their results showed a wide margin of error. but if they're right, this could open promising directions in autism research. one possible environmental cause? antidepressants. a separate study out this week found that mothers who took a first class of drugs called ssris during pregnancy, were twice as likely to have a child with autism. but what else? is it food? medicine? chemicals? the wirths have no idea why josh, who is 5 now has autism, and little brother, spencer, does not. >> we're grateful they're doing the study in hopes we are able to help help give them some answers to find out what's going on. >> reporter: answers their family and so many others are hoping to find. barbara pinto, abc news, chicago. and when we come back tonight, the towering announcement from this basketball star, making headlines all the way to china basketball star, making headlines all the way to china tonight. ritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis,
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a player from china, the first pick in the nba draft. even in a sport of big men, yao ming stood out. at 7'6", yao was o o of the tallest players ever. he would be an nba all-star eight times. averaging 19 points per game. yet, his biggest impact came off the court. making the nba hugely popular in china. yao was a perfect ambassador. intelligent, hard-working, beloved by teammates. he became the face of a changing china. carried his nation's flag during the beijing olympics. in the end, injuries did yao in. his size 19 feet could nt take the pounding anymore. able to play just five games over the last two years. now, he's calling it quits. yao ming is 30 years old. when we come back today, that stunning moment the fans went wild this afternoon. aner.
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it was quite a day at the stadium. yankees shortstop, derek jeter, became just the 28th player to reach 3,000 hits. and only the second to do it with a home run. the crowd going wild. his teammates surrounding him. even tampa bay cheered and tipped their c. 23-year-old christian lopez caught the ball. he could have sold it for so much money. he gave it back to jeter, for history's sake. the yankees gave him tickets for the rest of the season. there was something else today. two fans, we discovered, being
paid to watch it all. here's abc's john berman. >> reporter: there are jobs that take a lot of tools. jobs that take a lot of training. and then, there are jobs that take a lot of tvs. 15, to be exact. you're getting paid to be a baseball fan, basically? >> yeah. >> reporter: that's kind of cool, right? >> yeah. my fifth grade schoolteacher said i would turn out to be nothing. so, showed her. yeah. >> reporter: michael o'hara and ryan wagner watch baseball. all of it. >> the 3-2. that one's deep to left field. see ya. 3,000. . >> we will have watched 2,030 games. >> reporter: they're the home of major league baseball's fan cave. in new york city, it's one-part publicity stunt. one part shrine to the national pastime. and one part outreach. >> to a younger crowd. >> reporter: michael and ryan are chatting and posting videos on facebook and twitter cocotantly. face it. kids aren't flipping cards in the schoolyard anymore. >> baseball needs to think about the fans of the future. >> reporter: their professional lair is equipped with a tattoo parlor, pool table and a
constant stream of celebrity visitors. this is red sox slugger, david ortiz, looking for love from yankees fans. >> wow, man. that's what i'm talking about, man. >> reporter: to land this gig, mike and ryan won a contest. mike is a comedian, musician, and a yankees guy. and ryan, a musical theater actor who likes the orioles. while they don't sleep here, it is tough on the social life. is it a way to meet women? to sit in this room and watch baseball? >> come to the cave and have them hang out. >> reporter: with that aside, for this season at least, it's a promotion from fan to fantasy. john berman, abc news, new york. and that is "world news" for this saturday night. we're always online at abcnews.com. don't forget "good morning america" first thing in the morning. i hope to see you right back here tomorrow night. good night.